December 26, 2016

"Just as the three wise men did on that night, this Christmas heralds a time to celebrate the good news of a new King."

Wrote Reince Priebus.

Did Priebus intend to compare Trump to Jesus and the presidency to being a king?
 
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70 comments:

Big Mike said...

In the context of the paragraph he's writing about Jesus, obviously. Even an atheist like me can see that. Priebus needs to learn to look at what he has written from the perspective of "how can dumbshit Democrats twist this into something sinister" before he publishes (sorry for the redundancy).

Now go back to bed at 4:00 in the morning.

Dan Truitt said...

I'm more interested in knowing what you are doing up at 3:47 AM.

traditionalguy said...

Literalist Priebus did a major boo boo. He asserted Sweet Baby Jesus came not to be a Catholic religious icon, but to be the actual Ruler and King of The Jews. That kind of talk scares folks. It gets babies born in Bethlehem exterminated and Galilians taking over the Government crucified.

rhhardin said...

The wise men were after a good deal on power tools, Klavan said.

Bob R said...

I think the surface meaning is clear, but that he was aware that idiots would torture the meaning and make fools of themselves. Needless to say, he was right.

Quaestor said...

The wise men were after a good deal on power tools, Klavan said.

Good luck on that astrological endeavor, Balthazar, even Milwaukee sucks.

Ann Althouse said...

"I'm more interested in knowing what you are doing up at 3:47 AM."

I was up at 2 AM!

I'd had enough sleep. That's all. Went to bed early. It gets dark very early and I react to that.

Quaestor said...

Reince Priebus may be an operator of genius, but he's as deaf as post, if you now what I mean. The faster he's ensconced in a large paneled office in some obscure DC high-rise, the better.

Guildofcannonballs said...

Happy medium transfers to gay gray, the area where intentions are meta while also both figurative and literal. Strategic ambiguity it has been referred to.

The intention was to fuel the fires of divine hope within supporters, or at least not ner' do wells if not indeed supporters, without concern for how the fake concerned will attempt attacks for political power. Easily anticipated, meagerly eager, and false of course, the resultant attacks were induced without need to troll or incite the crazy, i.e. Journolists, as they went weirdpro decades ago.

HT to HST for the weirdpro.

AllenS said...

Ann Althouse said...
I'd had enough sleep. That's all. Went to bed early. It gets dark very early and I react to that.

Me also. The worse thing about winter is the short days. But, keep hope alive, the days are getting longer!

tim maguire said...

The article won't load properly, but there is nothing suspicious in that line on its own. It's a pretty standard Christmas message. Typical shit liberals looking for any opportunity to create dissension among non-liberals.

Guildofcannonballs said...

"Priebus needs to learn to look at what he has written from the perspective of "how can dumbshit Democrats twist this into something sinister" before he publishes (sorry for the redundancy)."

Go ahead and make him then, make him afraid to think, yes even think without verbalization, of just who could possibly be fake offended in pursuit of political power, and by God he might be wise enough, by your lights, to never speak again.

By the way, "learn to look" sounds like you are threatening Preibus with A Clockwork Orange style eyelid restraints. Why are you threatening to kidnap and torture the Cheif of Staff? These malicious threats of yours are assault and illegal harassment Sir.

In seriousness, this attitude that if the GOP were just a little more sensitive to their enemies, who want to punish them (us) and say so, then there would be less strife is suicidal. Mitt Romney sure as fuck thought a lot about how his words would be perceived by leftists and he still offended them by existing. The 47% remark was stupid and offended much more of the electorate than simple progs trained to bark "racist homophobic bigot" whenever a heterosexual white man speaks any words at all.

Funny, all those great would-be statesman lamented by Mike I am sure for allowing Trump to vulgarly win the presidency, they followed Mike's advice, they kept their mouth shut like cowardly Hobbits who never stepped outside the Shire. Mike cannot even begin comprehension of why good, honorable, decent people forego politics because of fear of political attacks by opponents voiced solely for power with zero regard for truth. What is the opportunity cost of this desired silence?

You sustain a rigged system designed to empower the murderous Clintons of the world because in your arrogance you find fault where you are told to find it as that allows you to feel superior in an above-the-fray matter, pissing all over Teddy and all Men in the Ring.

Macaca.

AllenS said...

It started to drizzle about noon yesterday, and then last night it rained very hard, with high winds. It was in the low 30s last night, and so far this morning, absolutely nobody has driven by my house. With the temp now in the 20s, I think that the roads are just like a skating rink.

Guildofcannonballs said...

"Now go back to bed..."

Obviously a death threat of course. This is even more obvious than when Sarah Palin had Gabby Gifford shot using the map with a target on it.

Guildofcannonballs said...

The alligator eats those who say Bad Things first, so just say Good Things until you fill its belly.

Guildofcannonballs said...

"Big" is a repressive, patriarchal word used to silence the fairer sex and ought be banned, or at least it's users shunned.

Guildofcannonballs said...

Using an apostrophe where it doesn't belong is patriarchy on steroids, the whitest privilege a privilege could ever be. I condemn myself, my county, my state, America, all white men in history, Earth, and the universe.

Guildofcannonballs said...

Anyone who provokes hatey-hate hatred by having the terms "liberty" or "patriot" in their organization's name ought to not be surprised when the IRS denies their 1st Amendment protections. What the hell were these tone-deaf jackasses thinking using fighting words like that?

Justice is blind, but even the blind can see Hate has no place among The Freest Free Folks Ever Freed, the sovereign modern American citizen, unencumbered by Commerce Clauses or Tyrannical Centralized Government or anything bad, because Responsible Freedom Yea!

Christopher said...

I supposed it might be giving him too much credit (or me being way too cynical) but count me in the camp that thinks this was intentional. With this statement he both gives a traditional Christmas message and makes the religiously ignorant talking heads look like fools.

I do wonder if this was their original statement or if they saw the push back on attempts to politicize Christmas (e.g. Matthew Dowd's claims that Mary and Joseph were immigrants) and saw an opportunity.

AllenS said...

Correct me if I'm wrong, but weren't Joseph and Mary in Bethlehem to pay their taxes?

MaxedOutMama said...

Well, for Christians or anyone who listens to old-fashioned carols, it's obvious that he is referring to Jesus. "Noel, Noel, born is the King of Israel."

If one does not have that background, perhaps one could pretend to believe that he was referring to the President-elect. I could not personally do that with a straight face. I find this amusing.

The capitalized "King" alone should make it clear.

MayBee said...

I thought the 3 wise men didn't get there that very night.

But aside from that, Christians say Jesus is the King of Kings. People who aren't Christian know that, right?

Is there any pro-Trump person who thinks Trump is a new king? That's the anti-Trump people who think that, right?

MayBee said...

It's kind of funny for Democrats to get bent out of shape about this, isn't it? After the years of Obama with a halo photographs, and the "Obama is sort of God" commentary.
Perhaps they believe the GOP wrote it about Trump because it's the kind of thing they thought and said about Obama.

clint said...

As with so many supposedly horrible statements from Trump and those around him -- it only sounds awful when you strip it of context and hear it that way first. The sentence before makes it clear he's talking about Jesus, and not Trump. The "new" in "a new hope was born" is echoed in the "new" in "a new King". And phrases like "God, our king" and "Christ, our new-born king" are hundreds of years old. The former is sung every week in churches around the country and the latter is heard on the radio every Christmas.

The interesting thing about human psychology -- if you see the sentence without context first, and hear the spin before you see the sentence in context, it becomes *much* harder to see the sentence the way it would have looked to you if you saw it cold.

I predict that within the next week there will be people on the left taking this statement -- and the "established fact" that Priebus compared Trump to Christ to derive:
Outrage-du-jour #317b: The Trump administration views Donald Trump as our next King, not just President.

None will be able to see the circularity of the argument -- that they only got Outrage-du-jour #317a by *assuming* that the word "King" referred to Trump in the first place.

From the article:
" When asked about the wording, RNC spokesman Sean Spicer said he was offended by the question.
'I hope you are kidding,' he said in an email to Buzzfeed News. 'Christ is the King in the Christian faith. To ask this on Christmas is frankly offensive.' "

There's our incoming White House Press Secretary. And he's exactly right.

Renee said...

I don't know if it is fine or poorly worded. But my progressive atheist friends are going berserk. So, I assume it is fine.

Mary Beth said...

Just as the three wise men did on that night

They didn't arrive until a couple of years later.

urbane legend said...

AllenS said...
Correct me if I'm wrong, but weren't Joseph and Mary in Bethlehem to pay their taxes?

Pay for Texas. The Romans had big dreams, and translation is an inexact task at best.

The Vault Dweller said...

If it was just the one line Althouse quoted I could see how people think of it as comparing Jesus to Trump. But reading the whole passage I think it is pretty clear he is just talking about Jesus and Jesus alone. Everytime people celebrate Christmas, including two thousand years after the first one, people are celebrating the birth of a New King. A new King that brought hope and salvation.

It is not like after a while the New Testament, suddenly became the Testament formerly known as "The New Testament". The New Testament and the New King is in relation to what had existed prior to them existing.

I think this is just a lot of very secular democrats looking for something to get upset about. It reminds of back in the Primaries, when the left got in a tizzy about Ted Cruz making reference to the body of Christ rising up to make change (voting for him) happen. Some thought he literally meant he thought some sort of Christ Cadaver was going to rise up like a zombie, (conveniently ignoring that part in scripture where he wholly ascended into Heaven. Or some thought he was referring to Communion wafers. When he was actually referring to the Church, the believers, that is the body of Christ.

I think large parts of the left needs to reacquaint themselves with Christianity in a higher than basic level. I'm not saying they have to convert or anything, but they have to at least be able to speak the same language.

MathMom said...

Guildofcannonballs -

Using an apostrophe where it doesn't belong is patriarchy on steroids...

You said doesn't, where you clearly could have said does not. What a slimy way virtue signaling while bludgeoning us with your patriarchy!

For the sake of Gaia, be gone, sir!

AllenS said...

urbane legend said...
AllenS said...
Correct me if I'm wrong, but weren't Joseph and Mary in Bethlehem to pay their taxes?


"Pay for Texas."

What on earth are you talking about?

Unknown said...

Reading his entire statement, no he didn't. What a shocker that it was cherry-picked.

But to be honest, the democrat party has become basically a godless party so any outrage they have is just political. So whom cares?

EDH said...

"Did Priebus intend to compare Trump to Jesus and the presidency to being a king?"

John Lennon is not (or is?) available for comment.

Christ you know it ain't easy
You know how hard it can be
The way things are going
They're going to crucify me

Qwinn said...

They were in Bethlehem to take part in a Census, not pay taxes.

They weren't immigrants. To claim they were can't just be ignorance, it has to be malevolent manipulation of their own political side

geoffb said...

"Priebus needs to learn to look at what he has written from the perspective of "how can dumbshit Democrats twist this into something sinister" before he publishes (sorry for the redundancy)."

It is impossible to speak or write in such a way that the dedicated left will not twist to further their own ends. Since they assign meaning to be in the mind of every person hearing or reading a text and not in the mind of the person who produced it, then all meaning of every text belongs to them and will mean what they will it to mean.

Thank you Jeff Goldstein for your years of hard work showing myself and others how this was done and why it mattered.

Conserve Liberty said...

If Preibus meant 'King' Trump should protect his 'T'.

YoungHegelian said...

I, like Vault Dweller above, read the exact text of the RNC's message looking for a faux pas, some linkage between Trump & Jesus. And I discovered none.

It is the most common & anodyne of Christmas messages, a message stated in language that two generations ago one could be sure even the atheists knew well enough not to misunderstand.

Now, there is no way to underestimate just how ignorant many on the left are about Christian history. I once saw a news report by the BBC which featured the two reporters being baffled as to why Vice President Biden was appearing in public with a dirty forehead. This was, of course, on Ash Wednesday.

Marc Puckett said...

Had no idea Reince Priebus was Greek Orthodox until I saw a post the other day describing 'the most Christian administration' of Mr Trump.

Wasn't it Sean Spicer who, having been at Mass on Ash Wednesday, was photographed or whatever and had to explain to idiots on Twitter that, no, his make-up hadn't been badly applied?

chuck said...

Couple of days early, the visit of the wise men is celebrated on Epiphany, Jan 6.

Richard said...

This kerfuffle reminds me of this old joke. A man was being pursued by a vampire who cornered him in a room. The vampire opens his mouth and just as he is about to strike the man pulls a large cross out of his jacket pocket and holds it in front of the vampire. Be gone he says. The vampire backs off for a split second, look pityingly at the man, and says in a strong Yiddish accent, it vont vork.

(Yes I will keep my day job).

The Left keeps using the same playbook against Trump. They think they can get him to apologize for transgressing against what they decide is allowable discourse. As the punch line of the joke goes, it vont vork.

rcocean said...

Obviously, what Prebius was referring to "newborn King" -aka "Hark! The herald angels sing "Glory to the newborn King!". Here's the whole paragraph:

"Merry Christmas to all! Over two millennia ago, a new hope was born into the world, a Savior who would offer the promise of salvation to all mankind. Just as the three wise men did on that night, this Christmas heralds a time to celebrate the good news of a new King. We hope Americans celebrating Christmas today will enjoy a day of festivities and a renewed closeness with family and friends."

Now, how you get "RNC compares Trump to Jesus" from that, is crazy and bizarre. Comparing Trump to a "King" is a negative thing that Liberals do. So, why would the RNC do it?

But the MSM has been doing that for over 1.5 years with Trump. Strip words out of context, put a bizarre, negative interpretation on them and then complain about how Trump/RNC needs to more careful with his language. Another technique was to ask him to 2-3 questions quickly in a row, and then pretend he was answering question #1 when he was really answering question #3 or take the fact that he ignored question #2 to mean something sinister.

Lyle Smith said...

Trump is love!

robother said...

My dad would never allow us to put the three kings into the creche until 3 days after Christmas. I don't know if that was an Irish thing or an RC thing.

rcocean said...

Talk about the Left-wing's ignorance of the Bible - I can remember when Howard Dean named the book of Job as his chapter from the NT.

I wonder if Billy Bob Clinton still has that enormous Bible he used to haul to Church and show off whenever he needed a good photo-op.

Big Mike said...

@geoffb, point taken. I note in passing that you are much more succinct that others upthread.

Yancey Ward said...

I am as non-religious as it gets, and the capitalization of "King" alone would have been enough to clue me in to the identity of whom Priebus writing. Is Chait really that ignorant, or is he someone congenitally unable to stop himself from taking dishonest cheap shots? Who knows.

EDH said...

Qwinn said...
They were in Bethlehem to take part in a Census, not pay taxes.

My recollection: the point of the census was to collect taxes.

n.n said...

Metaphor. If anything, the election of Trump was the trumpet that heralds the coming of the King, "In God We Trust". A Christian Church to replace the Pro-Choice Church. A culture of life. Principles matter.

Mark said...

Is Chait really that ignorant, or is he someone congenitally unable to stop himself from taking dishonest cheap shots?

I don't know about this person specifically, but I can tell you from personal experience that you can explain and explain and explain things to such people, providing them authoritative and original sources, and they will still spout their nonsense. Many revel in their intentional ignorance.

campy said...

I can tell you from personal experience that you can explain and explain and explain things to such people, providing them authoritative and original sources, and they will still spout their nonsense. Many revel in their intentional ignorance.

No kidding. It happens on this blog every single day.

Gusty Winds said...

"A newborn king to see, pa-rum-pa-bum-bum".

Peggy Coffey said...

My mother was born in Ireland and we were never allowed to put the three kings into the nativity scene until after Christmas either. Irish thing?

Mark said...

Democrats have now learned from republicans how to deliberately misunderstand and cherry pick statements, which the republicans now are decrying because it's their ox being gored.

Yawn.

Hugh Shannon said...

"Hark! the herald angels sing, glory to the newborn King"

Written in1739 by a Brit (Charles Wesley, brother of the founder of Methodism, John Wesley). Its not difficult people.

Mark said...

Democrats have now learned from republicans

Just so you all know, this is a different "Mark." It is not as bad as the five or six Mikes who were all commenting here the other day, but it is annoying.

dreams said...

And this from David French.

"I have two reactions to this strange little controversy. First, are these folks really so ignorant of Christian language and customs that they don’t understand that the “new King” is Christ? I’ve heard that phrase countless times. “King” is capitalized for crying out loud — a clear reference to the divine."

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/443338/strange-and-revealing-christmas-controversy?utm_content=bufferea845&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer

Otto said...

Bible illerites. Bible never said 3 wise men. Too many faux Christians.

Darleen said...

This kerfuffle in an espresso cup is, IMHO, the result of two things ...

First, that 40+ years of relentless secularization (accompanied by strains of Christophobia) of American culture has stripped large swathes of the population of knowledge of normal Christian speech -- not to mention a common knowledge of Biblical quotes & references.

Second, the continued hysteria, much of it cynically calculated, from the Left over their loss to the head deplorable of baskets of icky Christers, gun-clingers, SIXHIRB people of pallor who refuse to vote in their own best interest.

Rockport Conservative said...

Glory to the newborn king .... a line from a very old Christmas carol. It is possible that those who first started the kerfuffle were ignorant of Christiandom. But I really thought that at least Daniel Drezner was smarter than that.

urbane legend said...

AllenS said...
"Pay for Texas."

What on earth are you talking about?

It's a pun. You will, of course, tell me it isn't a very good one, but let me stop you because I've heard that one.

coupe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Drago said...

Mark: "Democrats have now learned from republicans how to deliberately misunderstand and cherry pick statements, which the republicans now are decrying because it's their ox being gored."

LOL

Hysterical on its face!

Oh, look, the dems, JUST NOW, are deliberately misunderstanding and cherry-picking statements! "just now"!

Never before. Goodness no.

LOL

Birches said...

I'm with the other commenters who are confused about the wise men's timing. Mexico has a Three Kings Day in January to celebrate when they got to Bethlehem. But I suppose they saw the star and celebrated that first night and that is what Preibus is talking about. Definitely wasn't implying Trump. If there is any point of criticism, it could be the old Christian theocracy angle.

CWJ said...

Birches,

Yep. It's why we love giving our homeowners association the vapors by leaving our Christmas lights on until Epiphany. They don't call it the 12 days of Christmas for nothing.

n said...

Yesterday, as the goose was being served, Dan Rather, on his twitter, links to the statement saying, "I am sorry to break the Christmas spirit, but a colleague brought this GOP message to my attention...". I suspect the GOP is intentionally tossing out these lures, knowing the left can't resist them.

coupe said...

"I suspect the GOP is intentionally tossing out these lures."

The media reports on twitter postings like they were from the quotable sources. In fact, they don't know if all the replies are merely from 7th grade students bored with graffiti and expensive paint in cans.

rcocean said...

"Dan Rather, on his twitter, links to the statement saying, "I am sorry to break the Christmas spirit, but a colleague brought this GOP message to my attention..."

LOL. Big Dan the Reporter Man. Always speaking "truth to Power" unless "Power" had a (D) after their name. Did you ever see the CBS independent report on "Font-gate"? Big Dan couldn't even answer a question without some producer giving him "talking points" or a "script".

rcocean said...

BTW, uber-conventional echt-liberal and Christianity challenged Dan Drezner was "offended" by the RNC statement, tweeting "OMFG".

Later, he retweeted "Reading previous RNC Christmas messages does not help reach a charitable interpretation of this year's, but I still think it was accidental."

Whatever that means. IOW, he's still trying to push the meme that if he and his liberals buddies didn't understand what "new King" meant, that was the RNC's fault.

Okey-Dokey.

southcentralpa said...

"Two millennia". The one cherry-picked sentence in your poll may be subject to misinterpretation by the same sort of @$$-hats who mocked Romney's "Have a quiver-full of children" (Psalm 127, f'r cryin' out loud), but even if the capital-K King doesn't give them a clue, the reference to two thousand years ago might give even the most ir- or antireligious a clue that Priebus is not talking about Trump.

JAORE said...

"A newborn king to see, pa-rum-pa-bum-bum".

My mother's favorite Christmas song. As non-political a person as ever lived. She was wise far beyond the reach of the idiots who believe the reference was to Trump.

(Besides, Trump can not be Jesus, Jamie Fox - he's a STAR so he must be right - already declared Obama our Lord and Savior.)

Deirdre Mundy said...

Re: Wise Men's Timing--- If Priebus is an Eastern Christian (as some commentators up thread have said)... They celebrate Christmas on the Julian calendar, not the Gregorian one. So their Christmas is Jan 6, the day we celebrate as Epiphany/3 Kings....

In the East, the 3 Kings DO come on Christmas.... So.... he's just helping us all be more diverse in our celebrations. Why does the left hate diversity so much?